Why you need a Facebook PAGE (not PROFILE)

With over a billion active users each month on Facebook, you may have heard that every company, whether you’re large or small, should consider getting on the social network bus.

“I don’t get it!” you might be saying. “How does posting silly pictures and telling people what I ate for lunch help grow my business? Besides, my time is already maxed out.”

True, Facebook is rife with silly status updates that can drive us crazy. But let’s look past all that and focus on the people behind the updates.

Who are these people? They’re existing and potential customers, and on Facebook, you can get up close and personal with them. They’re an important source for growing your business and probably the best advocates – as long as you stay in touch and keep them happy. After all, happy customers lead to referrals to new happy customers, right? Happiness all around – we like that!

Not convinced? Chew on this: Of all the major social network platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Foursquare, Facebook is by far the most popular based on sheer number of users. It gets 526 million+ who visit the site daily.

Still not sure if Facebook is right for your biz? How about five more reasons?

1. Strengthen customer relationships

With a business Facebook page, you can interact with prospects and customers in a way that they’re already familiar with. People share their likes, interests and activities on Facebook, and with your business page, you also can share news, photos and videos.

When someone checks you out on Facebook and “likes” your page or comments on a post, they’re showing that they want a relationship with your company. And they could potentially create great word-of mouth referrals to their friends. With all this “liking” and posting going around, you’ve got a ton of personal info to create targeted marketing campaigns (like promotions, deals and events) to groups of people based on specific interests that are relevant to your business.

For example: A person eating at a restaurant loves her meal. She posts to Facebook about how great it is and that message is exposed to her 200 friends via the news feed. That’s potentially 200 people that the restaurant just got in front of, without spending a single marketing dollar.

2. Expose your brand and increase awareness

While you’re making new connections and deepening existing relationships on Facebook, you’re also automatically generating awareness for your business free of charge. How’s that possible, you ask? Well, every user’s action on Facebook could be published to the news feed for the world to see. So anytime people “like” your page and/or any of your posts, this action could get published to hundreds, if not thousands, of their friends. So go out there and promote your great content, new product/service launches, special offers and events. Every post is an opportunity to get in front of tons of new peeps!

For example: That same restaurant customer posted to her 200 friends, and of the people who saw it, a few commented on the post with things like, “Great place!,” “I loved it too!” and “Their chicken wings are amazing!” It just happens that collectively all of those people had 5,000 friends who could be exposed to their comments. These actions could generate a ton of buzz, and still not a penny spent.